Syrup Alternatives to Agave


Hope you had a great weekend!! It’s still only the end of August dammit- we can still hold on to summer!! :) I love my apt. now in Santa Monica!

I headed down to Newport Beach to visit some clients at a beautiful spa there, and had some nice beach walks.

I also caught up with an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. She was a travel buddy that I met in Australia, and we would periodically meet up on the road. Some adventures we shared include camping on frozen ground in Nepal in January (!), sharing a bungalow in Thailand and having a zillion dead bugs rain down on us when we let down the mosquito net, exploring some random deserted islands in the Philippines with only a few fishing families living on them, and taking a small plane around Mount Everest. She almost killed me when her ocean kayak flew right by my head when we were getting huge air kayaking in Byron Bay, up the coast of Australia, and we also touched the Great Barrier Reef in Australia together for the first time… she also came back to visit me when in Sydney after I was working there after college. With all the craziness we’ve been through- or should I say survived- we’ll always be super close, and when I see her its as if no time has passed!

So back to thoughts around the kitchen… I started drastically cutting back on agave over a year ago, and stopped it cold turkey a few months ago. Agave is highly processed and is a very high percentage fructose. Despite its being advertised as being low-glycemic and a “natural” alternative, it really isn’t a viable option for those of us that want to look and feel our best. I recommend you cut it out completely as well! Also, be sure to check labels. I was in Wholefoods in Venice the other day looking at the labels of raw food products, and almost every single one had agave in it!! If we all start to shun it I think hopefully eventually manufacturers will have to switch!

Stevia and xyletol are good dry, powdered sweetener alternatives. Liquid stevia is very concentrated and you drop it out with a little dropper. But how to replace agave for liquid needs?

Organic dried or dehydrated fruit is a great source of natural sugar that comes right from nature off the tree or the bush! Be sure to purchase varieties that are free of sulfites and other preservatives, and don’t have any additional added preservatives.

Lately I’ve been using dates, figs and raisins, and I make a syrup/paste by adding water. I start with 1-2 Tbs of water and blend with the dried fruit, then add more depending on how thin I need the syrup to be and what I’m using it for. Soaked nuts combine okay with dried fruit, so depending on what you are making, you can also add some of the oilier seeds and nuts for texture. These include sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and almonds.

Dried fruits should be used in moderation (or avoided altogether for those with Candida or sugar issues), as they do have a high concentration of sugar, but they are easy for our bodies to digest and break down. They also have some health benefits as well:

Dates: High in calcium, also contains copper, iron, amino acids, Vitamin A, and some riboflavin and thiamin.

Figs: High in potassium! Contains mucin and pectin, and have detoxifying and blood-cleansing properties. Also contains calcium and magnesium.

Raisins: Contains iron, potassium, calcium, silica, magnesium, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, zinc and amino acids; an awesome addition to my tabouli salad recipe!

Give these little “candies” of nature a go, and see how you do!

Have a wonderful early part of your week!!

See you soon.

Love, Kimberly




Last updated: Wednesday, August 5, 2015
  • garyharders

    I am glad you like your new apartment in Santa Monica. Many blessings on your new abode!!! I am starting the journey towards being sugar/fructose/agave free. Are there any side effects to either stevia or xylitol? If you ever make it to Washington state, I would love to shake your hand.

    Many Blessings

  • lenny

    very nice sunset……… what do you think of using pure maple syrup as a sweetener?

    • kimberlysnyder

      It contains sucrose and is not raw (they boil it!)- but at least it is produced naturally in nature from the tree. I use it in strict moderation occasionally as I have cut out agave!

  • laura

    Hi Kimberly!
    You always look like you’re enjoying yourself! On the subject of candida, how can you effectively treat candida without antibiotics? My dermatologist said she thinks I have candida (based on some facial skin issues I was having) and beyond that, I just have so many symptoms that could be candida-related. I’m curious what I can do to maybe rid my whole body of it and get a fresh start.
    Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks always for your help and wisdom.

  • Marie

    Wow, I am always so amazed at how fast information changes. You, are the reason I started using agave! I’ve always used it in moderation as I do believe that sugar is sugar is sugar and the body just doesn’t do well no matter what type it comes in. Glad to know my insticts are still working for me 😉

    • kimberlysnyder

      Yes- sorry about that!! It got such a big push in the raw community!! Sugar is sugar…but fruit has healthful benefits so shouldn’t be compared to being the same as eating candy bars for instance. :)
      We have to be sure our overall diet is balanced!!

  • Christi

    Hi Kim! I started using stevia not too long ago. I’ve been using the NuNaturals NuStevia product. The label says that it contains only stevia extract, and “natural flavors”. I recently read on another blog that NuNaturals uses sugar alcohols in their stevia products and that this can be bad for candida sufferers (which would include me). Do you know if that is what these “natural flavors” are and do you also see this as an issue for candida sufferers? I also thought that maybe since we tend to use only small amounts of stevia at a time, that the amount of sugar alcohols that I’m consuming is insignificant. I’d appreciate your thoughts and any helpful suggestions you can provide. Thank you!

    • kimberlysnyder

      Hi Christi,
      Yes it is my understanding that the sugar alcohols are in insignificant quantities. If you have cut out 99% of the sugars that feed the candida, and use moderate levels of the stevia (which is so concentrated and strong anyway), it probably won’t be a huge issue for you!

  • Claudia

    Hi Kim!!!

    Good to hear from you! How are you? I will try the recipe to prepare the syrup. It was so easy to through agave when preparing the lime kandy bars!!! which I am so addicted to.

    Any way I will try it!

    Send you a big hug! Thursday are not the same without my yoga class with you =-(

    • kimberlysnyder

      Big hug back to you Claudia!!! Sending love!! I miss you guys too.

  • Audra

    Hey Kimberly,
    BIG fan-I love you!

    • kimberlysnyder

      LOVE you too!!

  • Susan

    Hi Kimberly,

    I’ve been avoiding sugar & agave and have found raw coconut nectar & coconut crystals to be great substitutes. Not inexpensive though! :-/


    • kimberlysnyder

      Yes the coconut crystals are good too!!

  • mc

    Hey Kimberly, hope you are well and enjoying LA. You are a big inspiration and you deserve the best in life. I have finally saved enough money to get a excited. Which model would you recommend? I looked through your blogs and you mention the vitamix 5200, however I am in Ireland and there seems to be no vitamix 5200 only the vitamix 5000. I would really love your advice as this is an expensive purchase and I want to get the right one. Sending you good wishes.xx

    • kimberlysnyder

      Hi MC!
      Congrats!! You won’t be disappointed. The truth is that ALL the models are good. I have the 5000 and the 5200, and I use them interchangeably. :)

  • Bay

    I am SUCH a sucker! I bought a bottle of Agave and have only used it a few times. I’m more a fruit person, but thought it would be good to have to have on hand as a sweetener for cooking or if someone wanted sugar in their coffee. (I’m bad…still drink coffee, but black).

    On a different tangent, I would really appreciate it if I could get your take on tocopherol(s). I am getting some conflicting information on it and find it in SO many things.

    Thank you for keeping us all in the loop and also for enjoying the beach. Someone has to do it! :)
    [I grew up in Southern California and miss it at times….]

  • Caleb

    Dates are probably my favorite fruit. I love eating them before I go on a run for energy. I also love making energy gels and snacks out of them.

  • Sandy Dennis

    Wow, you are a beautiful, smart woman. I am happy to have stumbled upon your blog. I am vegan and started green smoothies and skin smoothies 3 weeks ago. I didn’t lose weight when I became vegan but with smoothies, I lost about 4 pounds, putting me at 111 which is perfect. Thanks for the info about agave and also soy. I stopped sugar completely in January (I was addicted to candy) and now I don’t even want any at all. So I am glad to know about agave. My skin has improved a lot so far, I am 54 and would also like some tips on improving the health of my hair through nutrition.

  • Gillian

    Love your blog.. changing the way im eating has changed my life.. i consume a large green smootie for breakfast salad with either nuts or half and avocado.lunch..and either fish veggies.. dinner.. but i feel hungry all the time once 4 pm hits and at night im starving.. any suggestions?? am i not eating enough! and also do yu know anything about the 80/10/10 raw diet? do i have to be concerned with the fat? or the sugar from too much fruit? Thanks for your time!

    • kimberlysnyder

      Hi Gillian! First off, I recommend having more salads before your lunch and dinner foods. You could also be sure you are having enough smoothie!! The fiber in the smoothie and salads can help you feel more full and balanced. The 80-10-10 diet argues that fruit is really our natural food…which may be true. But in today’s modern stressful, polluted environment, and our stressful demands, I truly believe we actually need a much higher percentage of greens in our diet!
      xx Kimberly

  • sd2431

    You are such a blessing to find. I love all the new things you teach us about natural beauty. I was vegan anyway and since adding green smoothies to my diet I have lost 4 pounds. I have also had a skin smoothie everyday for 3 weeks and am using The Solution. I can see a lot of improvement already. Thanks very much. At 54, I am interested in maintaining my skin.

    • kimberlysnyder

      Hi Sandy!
      Thank you for coming to visit! I’m so happy to hear of your results with the green smoothie!! From your picture, it looks like you do have great skin.

      I have been TRYING to purge ALL references to The Solution off this website. I am no longer involved in the company in any way, and I do not recommend the product to anyone anymore- though there is nothing unsafe about it.
      Stay tuned for other exciting happenings though!!! :)
      Lots of love,

  • Matt

    Hey Kimberly,

    Just wondering about using raw, organic Lehua honey as a sweetener. Is that mo good?



  • R

    I am so glad that you are talking about how bad agave is! It is not a natural product and still just the same as sugar. So important that this message is heard as many people are using agave thinking that they are being healthy. Thanks again for all your work and information! Love and light

  • Donna

    Does anyone know if coconut crystals are safe for candida sufferers? I am in the beginning stage of identifying food triggers for my condition and do not use sweeteners of any kind right now, but maybe in a few weeks it would be nice to know!

  • Jenny Ficks

    Hello, I just tried the cocunut crystals. They taste like brown sugar. I love them. I too suffer from candida, and can’t have sugar of any kind except stevia which I absolutely hate. I’m hoping that this product is safe and am trying to ask. I eat a lot of cocunt flakes, and I know it’s antifungal, just hopeing the crystals are safe for me to eat.

  • LaTasha

    Hey Kimberly! I was just wondering if you had heard about the Visalus body by vi shakes. what is your intake on them?

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